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Here’s an exclusive first look at character creation, abilities, Lifepaths and the new Medtech role in the Cyberpunk Red tabletop RPG

Over the edge.

The latest edition of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG, Cyberpunk Red, is arriving this June. While we wait, publisher R. Talsorian Games has given Dicebreaker an exclusive in-depth preview of the character roles available in the upcoming tabletop RPG - as well as extensive new details regarding the game’s character creation system, customisation choices and the return of the Medtech class.

Currently, all that exists of the Cyberpunk Red tabletop RPG is the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit, which was released last summer and features nine pre-generated characters plus a simplified version of the rules aiming at teaching new players how to play Cyberpunk Red.

R. Talsorian confirmed to Dicebreaker that the Medtech role - which featured in previous editions of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG but not the Red Jumpstart Kit - will be made available in the full Red core rulebook, bringing the total number of character roles up to ten.

Cyberpunk Red Roleplaying Game Jumpstart Kit
Cyberpunk Red is set in a dark future. Credit: Anselm Zielonka

As a Medtech, you play a doctor experienced with both the arts of flesh and metal. Using their Medicine special ability, Medtechs in Cyberpunk Red can fabricate drugs, perform surgery and use cryotechnology to keep people alive.

The darkest potential iteration of this role is the sinister Ripper Doc, who works the black market for illegal cyberware and perilous bodymods. Players could visit these unlicensed quacks in previous editions of the tabletop RPG for cut-price augmentations.

The Medtech joins the other Cyberpunk Red roles, which include the Lawman, Fixer, Media, Netrunner, Nomad, Rockerboy - a member of a protest movement named in honour of a murdered rock star - Solo and the Tech. The Exec, Lawman and Tech were known as the Corp, Cop and Techie in past edition Cyberpunk 2020.

Also returning is Cyberpunk’s Lifepath character generation system, which provides a backdrop for each character in the setting. As well as the standard Lifepath, each role in the Cyberpunk Red RPG will have a unique Lifepath - highlighting that character’s background, motivation and goals - that will allow players to customise their character to a greater degree and define how their place in the universe.

Examples given by R. Talsorian included a Solo who might be either a bodyguard or enforcer, operate via a strict moral code (or lack one completely) and may occupy just one section of a city or roam more freely.

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Character roles’ special abilities are similarly seeing an update from the second edition of the tabletop RPG, Cyberpunk 2020. Abilities have both been expanded in terms of gameplay impact, but also in the way they place each role in the world.

Examples of special abilities include the Rockerboy’s Charismatic Impact, which lets them influence individual fans and crowds in different ways; a revised version of the Solo’s Combat Awareness that allows for a more diverse set of abilities; and the new addition of the Moto Family ability to the Nomad, providing vehicles based on their family.

There’s also Credibility for Media characters that sway audiences into believing a story; the chance for Lawmen to call for Backup based on their rank (with the chance for its overuse to backfire); the inventive creativity of Techs using Maker; the Teamwork of Execs to command small teams at their whim; and the handy Operators skill of Fixers - used to find the right contact for the job.

Although any character can use technology and access computers in Cyberpunk Red, the iconic hacker role of the Netrunner boasts the Interface ability, letting them delve deeper into networks using less than legitimate means.

There will be three ways of generating characters using these roles and special abilities in Cyberpunk Red, R. Talsorian revealed.

Cyberpunk Red will feature a range of curious weaponery and cyberware. Credit: Santiago Betancur

The first character creation method is called Streetrats, which was used in the Cyberpunk Jumpstart Kit. Essentially, this is a pre-generated character that comes loaded with stats, skills, weapons, cyberware and gear based on one of several templates decided by a random die roll.

The other two types of character creation were mentioned in the Jumpstart Kit, but weren’t possible to use without the upcoming RPG Cyberpunk Red core rulebook. Edgerunners is geared towards a medium level of customisation while still being quick to create characters, while The Complete Package offers the most opportunity for personalisation.

Edgerunners allows players to pick a role, then roll a single d10 ten times to generate their character’s stats. Unique tables for each role are used to lean the results towards the abilities that best suit that class - for example, it’s important that a Rockerboy character has good empathy. Players then use points to purchase skills from a list specific to the role. Once that’s complete, they gain cyberware, weapons, armour and gear based on the class, as well as some additional cash that can be traded for further equipment.

Cyberpunk Red RPG artwork
Characters can choose from aan array of weaponry and equipment. Credit: Anselm Zielonk

More experienced Cyberpunk players or those after a fully customised character can opt to use the aptly titled The Complete Package method. The more in-depth process allows players to choose every aspect of their character from role and statistics - purchased using points - to skills and starting items. The items are selected from two pools: one comprising fashion and lifestyle goods, with the other offering weapons, armour, cyberware and general gear.

R. Talsorian added that The Complete Package method of creating characters opens up the RPG’s roles to complete customisation, with only a character’s special ability and a specific section of their Lifepath determined by their role. Otherwise, players are free to choose any of the stats, skills and gear they want to use.

The Cyberpunk Red RPG is slated to release this June, with the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit already available. Dicebreaker previously revealed the cover artwork of Cyberpunk Red’s core rulebook.

Disclaimer: The Cyberpunk Red RPG core rulebook gameplay details and mechanics discussed above aren’t final and are subject to change.

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Cyberpunk 2020

Tabletop Game

Cyberpunk Red

Tabletop Game

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About the Author
Sara Elsam avatar

Sara Elsam

Former Staff Writer

Sara has been writing since 2017, contributing news, features and more to outlets including Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Variety, The Guardian, BBC and Tabletop Gaming magazine. An expert in Dungeons & Dragons, they’re also a fan of all things horror and psychedelia both on and off the table. They are happiest rolling big dice, raising mobs and rocking out with their Bard-Lock.